Five Reasons

Five reasons to visit Clapham, London (from a top chef)

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. It sparks creativity and it fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make it easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a bit compromised, right? In the meantime, we want to be the window to your world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of insiders and tastemakers. 

Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Manon Lagrève, who hails from beautiful Brittany in France. She grew up baking with her grandma and before long was London based and a participant on the 2018 Great British Bake Off. Today she cooks up some of the most delicious crepes, cupcakes, and tarts that we’ve seen on Instagram. Top tip: her sticky toffee pudding is the perfect lockdown treat –  with lashings of vanilla ice cream of course.

Like you, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Manon to the best spots in South London…

NameManon Lagrève

Where you live: Clapham Common, South London

Where you’re from: Brittany, France

What you do: Baking & lifestyle blogger

Follow Manon on Instagram and her website full of incredible recipes.

Five reasons to visit Clapham, South London

The food & drinks: Common Cafe & Shop is one of my favorite coffee shops to work in. It has plenty of natural light, great coffee and lunches, and super friendly baristas. There is also a great section of refillable goods, eco cautious items, and I always go there when I need to buy a present for someone.

The Prince of Wales is a really unusual pub with a quirky interior –  but with everything a classic English pub gives you.

For a date night, there is Number 32 for a drink on the terrace upstairs, The Dairy for dinner, and Trinity to celebrate something special.

The Windmill, Clapham

The hotel: The Windmill on The Common is the boutique hotel to recommend in Clapham. The rooms are beautifully designed, with some impressive bathtubs, and classic British coziness. It’s situated directly on the Common –  perfect for your morning run – followed by a generous full English back at the hotel.

The stores: Northcote Road is a fantastic shopping street! It has all of the good high street shops and some independent little gems! I love the Northcote Antique Market, which is HUGE and full of gems, then there is my secret charity shop FARA at the end of the road, and you can also find Aux Merveilleux de Fred who sells the ‘the Merveilleux’, a pastry I discovered when studying in Lille –  it’s meringue wrapped in chantilly cream and chocolate!

The thing to do: The Common, of course. There are so many great parts of the park and I particularly love the carousel in the middle. The park is about 5km around, so it couldn’t be a better place to run. There is also a cute Italian café, very casual but just right for a little break.

The bar: I recently discovered The Last Supper gallery – they always have some cool and funky art and it’s worth checking out. It’s on Webb’s Road, a super cute neighborhood. I also love the Picture House Cinema in Old Town, you can grab a pizza from Radio Alice nearby beforehand.

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

Five reasons to visit Roma, Mexico City (from a writer)

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. It sparks creativity and it fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make it easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a bit compromised, right? In the meantime, we want to be the window to your world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of insiders and tastemakers. 

Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Eli London, who, despite a surname that suggests otherwise, is a New Yorker. He’s now based in Roma, a lively and happening barrio of Mexico City (Vogue called it ‘the Williamsburg of Mexico City’), and publishes a weekly roundup newsletter, The Breads. Oh, and he’s an awesome writer and photographer.

Like you, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Eli to the best spots in Roma…

NameEli London

Where you live: Roma, Mexico City

Where you’re from: New York

What you do: Writer, photographer, and publisher of The Breads.

Five reasons to visit Roma, Mexico City

The food: Mexico City is full of delicious food from street stalls to top-ranked in the world. Expendio de Maiz sin Nombre straddles that line perfectly. It’s next to super popular late-night spot Paramo but is only open until late afternoon. When you arrive you’ll find a kitchen completely open to the street and two large communal tables. There is no menu at all. You tell them what you’re allergic to and what you hate and the chefs send out corn-based dishes one at a time until you’re full. It’s high-end cuisine without being stuffy or overly run by tourists. 

Colima Street

The store: On Colima Street where countless vintage shops call home, Erre Vintage has a great selection of highly curated vintage clothing. Think band tees, sports jerseys, bad-ass jackets and more. It’s one of the rare vintage spots in CDMX that has just as good of a selection of menswear as womenswear. Plus much better prices compared to what you would find for comparable items in US vintage hot spots like New York or LA. 

The nightlife: It’s only open on weekends, but Departamento is one of the best spots in the city to see DJ sets of all genres. It’s vibey but not try-hard and movers and shakers from the creative scene often find themselves at Departamento late night. Get there on the early side because lines do happen. 

The hotel: A rather small hotel with less than a dozen rooms, Casa Goliana is perfectly located to easily get around La Roma and Condesa on foot, or quickly get to other parts of the city on the metro or in a car. The crowd is more vacationing couples and hipper business people than young partiers, which is a good thing in my opinion. It’s impeccably decorated and cozy.

The bar: Bacal is a natural wine bar opened by a Frenchman in Roma Sur (South) with a large selection of wines from all over. It’s a rather unique experience because just like Expendio there is no set menu. It’s often just a buffet style of healthy and nutritious foods and pay what you want. However, on Saturdays they have guest chefs who plate out a set menu. The clientele is often a mix of ex-pat writers, creators, and entrepreneurs with local Mexicans in the same circles mixed in. 

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

Five reasons to visit Mid-Levels, Hong Kong (from a travel entrepreneur)

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. It sparks creativity and it fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make it easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a bit compromised, right? In the meantime, we want to be the window to your world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of insiders and tastemakers. 

Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Dervla Louli Musgrave, a travel entrepreneur and lifestyle journalist based in Mid-Levels, Hong Kong. Like you, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. 

We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Dervla to the best spots in Hong Kong…

NameDervla Louli Musgrave

Where you live: Mid-Levels Hong Kong

Where you’re from: Egypt and Ireland

What you do: Entrepreneur and editor. Founder of Compare Retreats and lifestyle journalist.

Five reasons to visit Hong Kong

The hotel: The Upper House boutique hotel is my favorite home away from home in Hong Kong. A perfect evening begins with their signature Hong Kong Highball cocktail enjoyed on The Lawn before feasting at Café Gray followed by a lazy night in at one of their signature suites.

The stores: Standout stores include The Armoury for gents, HULA for pre-loved sustainable luxury womenswear and a stroll around Cat Street Gallery for some local souvenirs and hidden vintage finds.

The food: For dinner, YardBird is the ultimate spot with delicious food, friendly staff, and a brilliant buzz. For a drink, Please Don’t Tell is a speakeasy where you can get gin and tonic with a side of caramel popcorn is my favorite spot for a drink.

The things to do: Hiking trails and beaches are abundant in Hong Kong and I regularly walk The Twins and Morning Trail with friends. Bowen Road running route is also a favorite.

Chi Lin Nunnery

The culture: For something cultural and spiritual, Chi Lin Nunnery is my favorite peaceful place. They have a cute gift shop, stunning Japanese Gardens and a vegetarian café that my friend Chicco, founder of Fivelements, introduced me too.

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

Five reasons to visit Oslo (from a hotelier)

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. It sparks creativity and it fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make it easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a bit compromised, right? In the meantime, we want to be the window to your world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of insiders and tastemakers. Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Andrea Belck-Olsen on why she thinks Oslo – specifically the exceptionally hip neighborhood of Grünerløkka –  should be on the post-lockdown travel list. Like you, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. 

Andrea is actually one of our previously featured hoteliers – she’s the director of sales for Oslo’s coolest boutique hotel, THE THIEF. As if that wasn’t enough, in her spare time she’s the co-founder of HER Oslo, the city’s branch of HER Europe – a global women’s network (which was co-created by Safara’s very own Maya Poulton!)

We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Andrea to the best spots in Oslo…

NameAndrea Belck-Olsen 

Where you live: My favorite local area of Oslo; Grünerløkka

Where you’re from: I feel like a citizen of the world as I have lived in multiple countries, but I am originally from outside of Oslo.  

What you do: Director of Sales at THE THIEF hotel, and Co-Founder of HER Oslo, part of HER Global Network.

Five reasons to visit Oslo

The food: Skaal Matbar and The Tea Room by Imperial are both fairly new, and well worth a visit to Oslo. Otherwise, my local favorites include Ostebutikken, a gourmet cheese store / bistro, and the cocktail bar 2TH

The hotels: Stay at either THE THIEF with amazing views over the Oslo fjord or Amerikalinjen right next to the stunning Oslo Opera House

The shopping: I have so many local favorites including Luck Oslo, Sanatorium, Kollekted by, and Ensemble. Or go to Ilums Bolighus and pick up a dress by AWAN. They make the most comfortable dresses, which you can wear both while lounging on your couch or out and about in public.

Photo by Homecoming

The things to do: In Oslo, you can rent your own floating sauna and enjoy the Oslo fjord. It is definitely one of the coolest things to do in Oslo at the moment (currently closed due to government regulations for COVID19 – but add to your list!)

I also love to go for long walks, and can never miss my daily walk by the Akerselva river. It’s a great, scenic walk with lots of cafes and historic spots along the way. Get a waffle and a coffee at either Raadeshagekafe or Hønse-Lovisa.

Akerselva River (Photo by Nick Night)

The culture: Make sure to visit the privately-owned museum of modern art – the Astrup Fearnley Museum. It’s both indoor and outdoor, and conveniently located on the waterfront right next to THE THIEF hotel.

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

Five reasons to visit Greenpoint, Brooklyn (from a fashion stylist)

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. It sparks creativity and it fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make it easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a bit compromised, right? In the meantime, we want to be the window to your world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of insiders and tastemakers. Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Haley Loewenthal on why she thinks Greenpoint in Brooklyn should be top of your list when visiting the Big Apple (Brooklyn is the new Manhattan, after all). Like you, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. 

Haley‘s from New Jersey, but now lives in Greenpoint with husband Alan  – a furniture dealer, designer and founder of sustainable fashion brand, Everyone Wins. Haley is a fashion stylist with an incredible eye for cult brands – she’s worked with the likes of Moda Operandi, Timo Weiland, and NYLON, to name a few. She’s also travel obsessed and loves nothing more than hopping on a plane with Alan to explore somewhere new (or to visit Jamaica, it’s their fave!)

We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Haley to the best spots in hip Greenpoint…

Name: Haley Loewenthal

Where you live: Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Where you’re from: New Jersey

What you do: Fashion stylist, travel enthusiast

Five reasons to visit Greenpoint, Brooklyn

The food: For brunch, my ultimate favorite is Glasserie. They do an amazing seasonal mezze brunch that is so fun to enjoy with a group of friends – both the food and the group of friends are things I am very much looking forward to after all this!

For dinner, Alameda is THE spot! It’s the true definition of a neighborhood joint where you get to know your servers and have a go-to cocktail. I especially love it here in the summertime sitting outside people-watching with a bottle of orange wine and some elevated comfort food. 

For drinks, Archilles Heel is a must. It’s off the beaten path in Greenpoint and makes you feel like you’ve found a true treasure. From the crew behind Marlow & Sons and Diner, it makes sense that this bar makes you feel cooler than you are sipping on a whiskey tucked away in a private booth with an amazing soundtrack humming in the background.

The Donuts: It’s not a trip to Greenpoint without indulging in donuts and coffee at Peter Pan. I love sitting at the counter of this old-school bakery pretending it’s the 1950s.

The hotel: The Wythe Hotel is where I recommend my out of town friends and family to stay. It has the right amount of boutique charm, an amazing rooftop bar, and a great restaurant. Its technically in North Williamsburg, but it makes for the perfect location to walk through the park into all your Greenpoint adventures.

Photo by Homecoming

The store: I absolutely love Homecoming, a coffee shop / plant & home store. They have great coffee and the sweetest bouquets of flowers that make you want to fill your home.

Dream Fish and Tackle is my favorite for vintage home and furniture finds, plus records – and fish and tackle! This is a father-daughter run operation and lends itself to some serious treasure hunting.

The things to do: New Love City is a great yoga studio, the instructors all have different styles that come with their own unique and amazing approach and I’ve learned to love each one of them. The serene and homey space is so gorgeous that half the time during practice I end up mind wandering about how I would design the studio if it were my own apartment. A girl can dream!

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

Five reasons to visit Mayfair, London (from an art agent)

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. It sparks creativity and it fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make it easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a bit compromised, right? In the meantime, we want to be the window to your world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of insiders and tastemakers.  Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Marine Tanguey on why she thinks Mayfair in Central London should be top of your list when visiting the capital. Like you, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. 

The incomparable Marine is the founder and CEO of MTArt Agency where she represents some of the most innovative artists in the UK and beyond. Originally from an island on the west coast of France, Marine now calls London home, and also happens to be a new mom to baby Atlas.

We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Marine to the best spots in elegant Mafair..

NameMarine Tanguy

Where you live: I live behind Bond Street –  at the limit of Mayfair and Marylebone. 

Where you’re from: France, Ile de Re. The most beautiful little island off the West Coast of France.

What you do: I am the CEO of the talent agency MTArt Agency, it’s a complete dream job: I get to work with the most inspiring artists and work on the most incredible art projects. I feel very lucky. I am also the mother of baby Atlas, 7 months old. 

Follow Marine and MTArt Agency for more inspiration.

Five reasons to visit Mayfair, Central London

The food: Fischer’s –  it’s where I had my first date with Will. It feels like a little family and a place where you can read the paper while enjoying a cafe creme. A place out of time for the most meaningful conversations. 

The hotel: The Connaught, I love their art collection.

The store: Suzannah –  the most beautiful dresses made out of vintage couture classic inspirations and materials. I love going into the atelier, it’s such a joy to still have fashion ateliers in Central London.

The things to do: I am lucky that I can walk to the studio of our artist David Aiu Servan Schreiber in 20 min. He is just by Hyde Park and it’s a dream to see him creating there.

Royal Academy of Arts

The culture: The Royal Academy of Arts –  and I love to discuss all future projects in the Academician Room.

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

Five reasons to visit Madrid (from a New Yorker)

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. It sparks creativity and it fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make it easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a bit compromised, right? In the meantime, we want to be the window to your world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of insiders and tastemakers.  We’re continuing our ‘Five Reasons’ series with the fabulous Jessica Hendricks Yee – who previously appeared as one of our Valentine’s Day Insiders – on why she thinks Madrid should be top of your list when Spanish borders reopen. Like you, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. 

Jessica is the founder and designer of Zahava Jewlery and The Brave Collection, a Forbes 30 Under 30, a wife to Patrick, and a new mom to baby Ezra. They recently moved to Madrid to follow the living abroad dream, and have been experiencing being brand new parents in a brand new city.

We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Jessica to the vibrant and culture-steeped Madrid…

NameJessica Hendricks Yee

Where you live: Justicia, Madrid

Where you’re from: New York

What you do: Designer of Zahava, fine jewelry inspired by wisdom of the past. 

Follow Jessica and Zahava for more inspiration.

Five reasons to visit Madrid

The hotel: Stay at the Urso Hotel –  my favorite boutique hotel in Madrid! You’ll get so excited pulling up to this hotel as the architecture is stunning and it’s on the perfect block. The lobby is the ideal place to people-watch while enjoying some Iberico and taking in the original Urso scent by candlelight.

The market: Just across the street from the Urso is our local Barcelo Market with tens of stalls with everything from fresh fish to meats to freshly baked baguettes, and it’s a great way to get a sense of the local culture.

Pro tip: The organic fruit stall is killer but you mustn’t touch the fruit! Point to what you’d like and the woman behind the counter will pull the perfect fruit for you with her gloved hand.

The bakery: The most divine bakery is La Duquesita. This hundred-something-year-old spot looks right out of a Wes Anderson film, and everything they make is out of this world delicious (and BEAUTIFUL!)

The things to do: Visit the wild peacocks in the sprawling and perfectly manicured El Retiro Park.

El Retiro Park, Madrid

The food and drink: Try the razor clams at Sala de Despiece, the absolute coolest tapas bar. They don’t take reservations so show up early, and don’t wear a short skirt as half of the seats are only accessible by essentially limbo-ing under the communal table. Afterward, just across from our apartment is the best cocktail bar –  Supernova. It’s a maze of tiny, impeccably designed rooms to sit, dance, and sip. It’s chic as hell.

Read Five Reasons to Visit Palm Springs by Andrew Baker.

Five reasons to visit Palm Springs (from a magazine chief)

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. It sparks creativity and it fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make it easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a bit compromised, right? In the meantime, we want to be the window to your world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of insiders and tastemakers.  We’re starting today with Andrew Barker’s five reasons to hit up Palm Springs (when we can travel again, of course). Like you, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. 

Andrew is a Londoner living and working in Venice Beach, CA, and his dreamy Instagram is testament to his love of travel. As content chief for a magazine all about Californian culture and style, he’s our go-to guy for the Golden State, and beyond. Not only that –  like many of us, he’s figuring out how to do something good in this challenging time and has started a Zoom masterclass series, Alone Together, for charity. 

We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Andrew to the eternally sunny Palm Springs…

NameAndrew Barker

Where you live: Venice Beach, CA.

Where you’re from: London

What you do: By day, content chief at C Magazine. By night, I’ve started Alone Together with my friend Christian Layolle, a program of Zoom masterclasses for charity to fuel people’s desire for cooking and discovery while stuck at home.

Five reasons to visit Palm Springs

The food: Brunch at Cheeky’s, sundowners at The Ace by the pool, dinner at Workshop, a dance after at Toucans

The hotel(s): I’m torn – I love how chic Two Bunch Palms is with its stone pool but it might as well be in Tulum. There are more idiosyncratic options from a design standpoint including Dive Palm Springs and Les Cactus which are all botanical wallpapers and wicker chairs. 

The store: Angel Views, a thrift store where you can pick up salad bowls, paintings, and retro t-shirts. I’m not really buying ‘new’ unless I really need to at the moment.  

The things to do: The cable car that takes you to the top of the mountain where you have views of the Coachella Valley. At the right time of year, you can hike in the snow in the morning and swim in a pool in the afternoon. 

The culture: This is cheating, but The Parker Hotel is an institution and there is nowhere better to absorb the culture of Palm Springs as a tourist destination than here in the early evening. 

Follow Andrew on Instagram.

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